Oh no, a cat is heading towards your favorite flowerbed again! You’ve chased him more times than you can count. But he keeps coming back. Chasing, yelling, and using a spray bottle will only teach an animal to use your flowerbed as a personal potty when he thinks you’re not looking.
Popular ways to keep pets out of your flower patches are by using scents they hate and materials that are uncomfortable underfoot. Other pet owners also use electronic deterrents that annoy but don’t harm the animal.
Scents Dogs Hate
Some scents most dogs hate so much they’ll do anything to avoid them include:
- Chili Peppers. Put a couple in your flowerbed, and your dog will probably stay far away. Just remember to replace them every few days until your dog has decided he no longer likes that area.
- Ground chili pepper. Sprinkle it in your flowerbed every couple of days.
- Vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Most dogs hate the smell of both. Don’t put either on your flowers though. Spray one or the other around the perimeter of your flowerbed every couple of days.
Never, ever use mothballs or mothball flakes. They’re toxic to birds and animals and harmful to the environment.
Scents That Repel Cats
Individuals that they are, some cats love the smell of things that make others wrinkle their noses in disgust. These are some scents that most cats hate. But you might have to experiment to find the ones that repel your cat.
- Anything citrus. Most cats and dogs hate the smell of lemons and oranges. Put some peels in your flowerbed (you’ll need to replace them every few days) or sprinkle lemon juice on the soil.
- Used coffee grounds
- Garlic chives
Coleus Canina Plants
Coleus canina plants might be the most potent scent deterrent of all. Plant them around the perimeter of your flowerbed. Depending on who gets a whiff, they smell like Tomcat urine or skunk spray when the leaves are crushed or broken. In addition to dogs and cats, they can repel rabbits, deer, and fox, too.
Make It Uncomfortable Underfoot
Cats love flowerbeds because the soil is soft, and it’s easy to dig a neat little hole. But the soil won’t feel good at all if you scatter thorny branches around your garden or put Popsicle sticks or garden stakes a few inches apart in the ground.
Putting bricks or heavy rocks in your flowerbeds will inhibit digging and keep dogs from napping on your flowers.
Use Chicken Wire
You can put chicken wire around your plants to inhibit digging and discourage napping. Or make a tiny fence around the perimeter of your bed. Bend the top in towards the flowerbed to make jumping or climbing difficult for the cat or dog.
Consider Electronic Deterrents
The most efficient way to keep pets out of your flower patches is electronic deterrents. They won’t harm the cat or dog. But he’ll find them very annoying and will stay away.
There are varieties that you’ll need to attach to a hose. It will spray water on the invading animal when he approaches. Others are also motion-activated and make a high-pitched sound that only a cat or dog can hear. Pet supply stores sell electronic deterrents, and more choices are available online.
Be careful when you buy though. Cats and dogs hear at different frequencies. So if the bad-mannered animal is a cat, get deterrents that won’t also annoy your dog.
Provide An Alternative
One way to keep your pets out of your flowerbeds is to give them their own little patch of soil to play and nap in. All you have to do is dig a shallow pit and leave the soil you turned over there for the animals. Dogs will appreciate a few toys, so they know that area’s theirs. Cats will enjoy a small beach chair to nap on and some catnip or silvervine plants.
Your cat can have a litter box there, too. Give him a large box with shallow sides and fill it with soil instead of litter.
Keeping pets out of your flower patches will require some effort on your part at first. But don’t give up and don’t lose patience with your pets. With persistence, you’ll find the deterrent you need to keep them out of your flowerbeds.